sftfan's Track Clearance Adventure

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by sftfan1909, 9 Jul 2019.

  1. sftfan1909

    sftfan1909 Member

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    Location:
    South Wales
    My opinion about the Ebbw Vale line has changed after yesterday, which I'll discuss in my report for it ;) My favourite would probably be Merthyr
     
  2. sftfan1909

    sftfan1909 Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    8 Aug 2018
    Location:
    South Wales
    Friday 2nd August

    In between days of my rover, this was a small social trip on a Devon day ranger, so not a particularly intense day but I hoped to be able to visit a few shacks and get my final 143s. I didn't know which ones I needed when I was out but I knew I needed three. Anyway I immediately messed up by waking up an hour late but I worked out I would only be missing out on Exeter St Thomas and Newcourt by arriving at 10:45 instead of 9:45. So it was to the 7:48 service which was being worked by 150245, a unit I've had plenty of times on my local line. An uneventful run to Cardiff later, I had the choice of either the 8:26 to Bristol Parkway or the 8:30 to Bristol Temple Meads. I picked 165131 + 166209, obviously sitting in the declassified first section, and enjoyed the run down to Bristol.

    bristol.jpg
    43304 at Bristol Temple Meads

    Running an hour late meant that instead of having a voyager south (which I didn't particularly mind anyway since I need plenty,) 43378 + 43304 rolled in to take me down the line to Exeter. It's been a while since my last proper XC HST ride and I'd forgotten how much more pleasant they were than both voyagers or 170s. I alighted upon arrival at Exeter and had a short wait for my friends to arrive on 143620 + 143617 which I then joined as we took it down to Starcross. I have visited Starcross station before but I have never boarded/alighted a train so I haven't counted it until now. (I also don't count stations where I walk around but arrive and leave on the same service - photo stops on railtours being an example.)

    We visited the nearby shop for some lunch before returning and enjoying the wait for 150001 to take us to St James Park, finally getting the other 150/0 for haulage as I've had number 2 a few times. After another short wait 150244 + 150263 arrived which we took for a leap to Exeter St Davids, before 800303 appeared for a run to Newton Abbot, overtaking the 150s at Dawlish Warren. However we then rejoined them at Newton Abbot to take us down to Torre.

    torquay.jpg
    Torquay station

    From Torre we walked the ~1 mile towards Torquay, a station which I have used previously but before I really got into the hobby. 150244 + 150263 returned for the third time today to take us up to Dawlish Warren. We had 20 minutes to look around (not that there is much there) before we joined 143611 + 143603 to take us back to Newton Abbot. This was our last pacer move, leaving me with just 143612 to get before I've cleared the 143s, although at the time I didn't know if I already had or not.

    We had a second pit stop here during our short wait for 43097 + 43170 to take us one stop south to Ivybridge, a station with an odd level of service, I find. This service allowed us to have just a 25 minute wait before 150261 arrived, which we boarded to continue to Plymouth. It was time to return home, and the 17:25 with 43285 + 43321 had the honours of taking me for the 127 miles up to Bristol Temple Meads. I waited around for 158956 to roll in late, before taking a seat for the run back to Cardiff, changing for 143625 on the 21:10 back home. A brief, mainly social day out but definitely productive too :)

    taunton.jpg
    43062 at Taunton
     
  3. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    West of Andover
    Sounded like a good trip to Devon :)
     
  4. sftfan1909

    sftfan1909 Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2018
    Location:
    South Wales
    A few odd bits:
    On Saturday 10th I finally got around to visiting Melksham which has been irritating me for a while. 150233 took me there and back. It was pretty quiet and not really that interesting, so I'm glad I don't have to go back :smile:
    melksham.jpg

    Then on Sunday 11th I went to do the GWR Okehampton service, but first I went on the heritage line to Meldon Quarry. On the journey up I rode in the brake van, which was a strange but fun experience!
    okehampton1.jpg

    Afterwards 143618 took me to Exeter, which means I have now cleared every GWR line :)
    okehampton2.jpg

    Meanwhile today I was supposed to be heading towards the West Highland line, but thanks to the weather I'm now instead doing a Strathclyde Daytripper. That is, if the sleeper actually makes it to Scotland ;)
     
  5. sftfan1909

    sftfan1909 Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2018
    Location:
    South Wales
    Tuesday 13th August

    I've had a trip booked on the Caledonian since just before my 16th birthday (August 4th) with my original intention being to visit the West Highland line, somewhere I have wanted to go to for a long time. I only picked up advances as far as Dalmuir so that I could then use a day return to Mallaig for the onward journey, giving me flexibility as to where I leave and join the sleeper. Unluckily, the WHL then closed due to the landslips caused by the poor weather. Luckily, since my tickets were to Dalmuir, I wasn't going to be stranded in the West Highlands without anything to do, so my plan changed into a Strathclyde Daytripper.

    Before booking the trip I was looking at doing a multi-day rover somewhere I haven't been before. Unfortunately, none of the options were within budget. The sleeper wasn't my first choice due to its ridiculous unreliability, but in the end I decided it was worth a try and would be an adventure regardless :)

    Today was a positioning move to London courtesy of the 15:50 National Express from Chippenham. After the last coach fiasco I made sure I arrived in London with lots of time spare for the coach to run late. Fortunately, it ran to time so I proceeded with my plan of Victoria line stock hunting (I am tackling the tube lines one at a time.)

    With 90 minutes to play with, I loaded up my requirements note page and decided to first head south to Pimlico where it would be quieter. 11029 + 11030 took me there where I waited on the same platform for 11071 + 11072 to Vauxhall. Changing platforms, I jumped on 11048 + 11047 back to Pimlico and then 11065 + 11066 to Vauxhall again. I had a rule that if two duds passed, I would jump on the third regardless of what it was to avoid hanging around stations for too long. This was why I eventually rejoined 11072 + 11071 to Pimlico before 11054 + 11053 arrived taking me away to Victoria. 11050 + 11049 were next to Green Park, before 11075 + 11076 back south to Victoria, then 11017 + 11018 back again to Pimlico and 11004 + 11003 up again to Victoria. By this point I wanted to start making my way to Euston as time was running out, so it was 11070 + 11069 up to Green Park, 11010 + 11009 to busy Oxford Circus, 11038 + 11037 to quieter Warren Street and 11008 + 11007 to Euston. I had time to hop to Kings Cross St Pancras, but alas it was duds 11018 + 11017 there and duds 11049 + 11050 back. Finally, I took 11043 + 11044 to Warren Street and returned on 11074 + 11073, pushing me to 24/47 sets completed which was my target.

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    Pimlico station

    Happy that I was halfway to clearing the Victoria line stock, I finally left the tube after 80 minutes to swing via Sainsburys for food. I was surprised as a meal deal cost £3, which is 50p cheaper than in Chippenham! I recommend this Sainsburys for a Euston food stop. It was then a long walk to the end of platform 2 to identify what loco would take me to Edinburgh. I was hoping for a 92 but unfortunately it was a 90. I was unable to tell which it was so I took a photo and then walked all the way back to switch to Platform 1. I had 10 minutes to wait before we were allowed to board at 20:30 and I then walked down towards the end of the platform, stopping en-route to reassure a confused lady that I was only taking a picture and knew where I was boarding. I discovered it was 90047 leading tonight before walking back down the platform and boarding.

    To be continued...

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    London Euston station
     

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